Spring's Last Gasp: Recipes

June 10, 2011

On Tuesday, Annie Somerville, executive chef at Greens Restaurant and market regular, tasted the pea greens at County Line Harvest and remarked on their quality. “They’re so tender!” she said. “Not stringy like they usually are by this time of year.”

Annie knows what she’s talking about. This is an unusual moment for local food in the Bay Area. A surprising amount of rain and cool temperatures have extended the spring greens season, while the summer fruit has also started to trickle in. The downside of this weather is that both cherries and apricots have suffered (first the rain and wind blew flowers off the trees, then, more recently, quite a few farms saw their the fruit impacted by brown rot and other problems that arise from too much late season dampness). For shoppers, however, June is shaping up to be a best-of-both-seasons kind of month.

That’s why we figured it wasn’t too late to share these simple, lovely spring recipes from Kimberley Hasselbrink over at The Year in Food.

“One of the things that I love most about seasonal produce is the variety of what’s available and how frequently that changes,” says Kimberley. “This is especially true of spring and early summer produce; there are so many fleeting fruits and vegetables that you can only find for a few weeks or a month out of the year. It keeps things exciting.”

sites/default/files/year_in_food_pea-shoot-salad-with-fava-beans_1.jpgPea Shoot Salad with Fava Beans

4 ounces pea shoots
1 pound fava beans, outer shell removed
4 radishes, thinly sliced
¼ cup sliced almonds
1 avocado, halved and sliced lengthwise
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
Salt + pepper


sites/default/files/year_in_food_nettle-pesto_0.jpgNettle Pesto

4 ounces fresh nettles
5 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup pecans
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
Sea salt to taste


sites/default/files/year_in_food_snap-pea-soup-with-mint-and-lemon_0.jpgSnap Pea Soup with Mint and Lemon

1 ½ pounds snap peas, stems removed and rinsed
½ cup minced shallots
2 ½ cups chicken or vegetable broth
¼ cup grated parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
¼ cup crème fraîche (can sub heavy cream or yogurt), plus more to finish


sites/default/files/blueberry_cornbread_0.jpgBlueberry Cornbread

1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 ⅓ cups cornmeal
⅔ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed


Along with recipes, Kimberley posts a photographic guide to seasonal foods every month on her website, The Year in Food.